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Posted: Jan 19, 2006

The Technical University of Denmark to receive the most powerful microscope in the world

(Nanowerk News) The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is to receive the world’s most powerful microscope. The gift, amounting to almost 100 million Danish kroner, from The A. P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation will make it possible for DTU, in collaboration with a world leading supplier of microscopes, to develop a so-called Environmental Transmission Electron Microscope, which is five times more powerful than similar research microscopes currently in operation.
The gift from The A. P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation is the largest single private donation to research activities in Denmark ever made.
According to DTU’s rector, Lars Pallesen, this donation will provide Denmark with unique facilities for research into nanotechnology.
“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that these facilities will place Denmark at the very centre of research in nanotechnology. This initiative will make it possible for us to carry out research at an absolutely elite level. Not only will it attract researchers to Denmark, it also gives exciting business perspectives for Denmark,” says Lars Pallesen.
Mr. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, Chairman of the Foundation, explains why the Foundation wishes to contribute to Danish research into nanotechnology: ”We see great opportunities within this field – for young people as well as for visionary companies. It is, therefore, of high priority for us and for me personally that the Technical University of Denmark, being an elite institution, has facilities within this field. Hopefully this enables Denmark to become a leading nation in the technological development ahead”, says Mr. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller.
The researchers at DTU are very enthusiastic about the gift, which will open up unforeseen opportunities for nanotechnology. In short, the 180 researchers and 50 companies co-operating at the Center for Nanotechnology at DTU (NANO-DTU) will have the world’s most advanced microscope at their disposal.
”This newly developed microscope will make it possible for us to see details at the level of the atom in 3D. Its magnifying power is so great that the width of a human hair will be equivalent to that of a football field. It will be a giant leap forward for the field of materials research as we will be able to see what happens to the individual atoms when we make changes in materials and thereby give them new properties. We expect to be able to see resolutions of 0.07 nanometer which is equivalent to half a carbon atom”, says Professor Ib Chorkendorff from DTU.
In addition to the super microscope the Foundation will also donate three very advanced microscopes, a further two microscopes for educational use as well as a building to protect the sensitive equipment from vibrations, fluctuations in temperature and electrical noise.
The Center for Electron Nanoscopy (CEN-DTU) is expected to be ready in 2007.
Source: Technical University of Denmark
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